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Research & theory

Benefits and challenges perceived by patients with cancer when offered a nurse navigator

Authors:

Marianne Kirstine Thygesen ,

University of Southern Denmark, DK
About Marianne

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Odense University Hospital, Institute of Clinical Research, Faculty of Health Sciences. Ph.d. student, RN, MHSc.

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Birthe D Pedersen,

University of Southern Denmark, DK
About Birthe

Research Unit of Nursing, Institute of Clinical Research, Faculty of Health Sciences. Associate Professor, RN, MScN, BA, PhD

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Jakob Kragstrup,

University of Southern Denmark, DK
About Jakob

Research Unit for General Practice, Faculty of Health Sciences. Professor, DMedSci, PhD

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Lis Wagner,

University of Southern Denmark, DK
About Lis

Research Unit of Nursing, Institute of Clinical Research, Faculty of Health Sciences. Professor, RN, Dr.PH

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Ole Mogensen

University of Southern Denmark, DK
About Ole

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Odense University Hospital, Institute of Clinical Research, Faculty of Health Sciences. Professor, DMedSci.

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Abstract

Introduction: Lack of communication, care and respect from healthcare professionals can be challenges for patients in trajectories of cancer, possibly accompanied by experienced fragmentation of the care, anxiety and worries. One way to try to improve delivery of care is additional help from Nurse Navigators (NN) offered in a predefined shorter or longer period, but patients´ experiences with this have seldom been investigated.

Aims: To explore patients´ experiences of an NN offered in a short period of a longer trajectory of cancer.

Methods: NN worked from the hospital side in the transition between primary care and a university hospital before admission. A phenomenological-hermeneutical longitudinal study was performed from referral and until two months after discharge from the hospital. Semi-structured interviews provided data for the analysis, which started open-minded.

Results:  Affectional bonds were made to NN and patients felt that they benefited from her presence and her help, which they requested until one month after discharge. They were deeply disappointed and felt rejected when the contact to the NN stopped.

Conclusion: In efforts to increase quality of care for patients with cancer we recommend paying special attention to critical periods in their trajectories, as well as to the theory of attachment to supplement thoughts of continuity of care and coordination in the care for women. In short, it is fine to offer additional help to those who can use it, but in practice as well as in research we call attention to awareness on how and when to stop the help, to prevent patients from feeling hurt.

How to Cite: Thygesen MK, Pedersen BD, Kragstrup J, Wagner L, Mogensen O. Benefits and challenges perceived by patients with cancer when offered a nurse navigator. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2011;11(4):None. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.629
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Published on 07 Oct 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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